November 16th, 2007

November 14, 2007


Assistant Director Beth Worthen
Wyoming Healthcare Commission
Cell: 307.277.9190


Saratoga, Wyo. - The Wyoming Healthcare Commission held an introductory meeting with a task force of Carbon County residents to undertake project in improving its healthcare delivery system.

Members of the commission met with a citizen task force composed of local healthcare providers, government officials and other concerned citizens to discuss challenges with the delivery system, as part of a year-long project within Carbon County to find ways to improve healthcare delivery. They discussed issues associated with remote service delivery, emergency medical services, recruitment and retention of providers, population health and care of the elderly.

“We need to move from a system that is fragmented and isolated into one that takes care of our population comprehensively,” said local doctor Diane Noton.

Members of the citizen task force include:
Duane Abels (Rawlins)
Laura Bucholz (Saratoga)
Patsy Carter (Rawlins)
Lisa Colson (Wamsutter)
Linda Fleming (Baggs)
Sharon Fluty (Saratoga)
Richard Freudenberg (Wamsutter)
Mike Glode (Saratoga)
Bob Hohn (Hanna)
Diane Noton (Encampment)
Jeb Steward (Encampment)
Kim Sweet (Rawlins)

Representative Jeb Steward (R-Encampment) stated, “The best thing about this project is that it is driven by a group of citizens that know our needs and represent our communities.”

The Healthcare Commission will be working with the citizen task force and researchers from the Rural Policy Research Institute from the University of Nebraska Medical Center to collect data, hold public meetings and create an action plan for addressing healthcare delivery needs.

The commission chose the communities of Carbon County (and Wamsutter in Sweetwater County) after studying techniques in health care integration across the state. After deciding to do a project to pilot these techniques, the Commission received a letter from Carbon County leaders that described challenges in delivering healthcare to the area’s remote communities, difficulties in recruiting and retaining healthcare providers and a growing burden on the healthcare system as a result of the local energy development and aging population.

In selecting Carbon County, Wyoming Healthcare Commissioner Dr. Jack Glode noted, “Our hope is that we can assist this area of the state with techniques we can use in communities across Wyoming.”